In Congress, former Rep. Lee Hamilton and former Sen. Richard Lugar served Hoosiers as members of opposing political parties. But unlike many in Congress today, they often expressed mutual respect for one other -- and still do.
Hamilton and Lugar, two of the most esteemed voices in foreign policy, serve together today as professors of practice at Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies. This week, they co-convened a conference at the school, "America's Role in the World: Issues Facing the New President."
"I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to work with my dear friend, Lee Hamilton, who has meant so much to the progress of this state and this nation," said Lugar, who served six terms in the U.S. Senate and two terms as mayor of Indianapolis. "I look forward to continuing both that friendship and partnership that provides opportunities for leadership."
"There are very few members of the Congress over the past century that have made a greater contribution to foreign policy and just plain good government than Dick Lugar," Hamilton, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1965 to 1999, said in return.
The nonpartisan conference, which began Wednesday and wraps up today, is addressing topics such as the rising anti-democratic tide around the world; U.S. relations with its allies and with Russia and China; and challenges presented by Iran and North Korea and by global trade and inequality. Politico's Playbook Power Briefing previewed the conference.
A distinguished roster of former ambassadors and federal government officials, policymakers and scholars traveled to IU Bloomington to participate.
"We have a lot of foreign policy talent in this room and participating in this conference," Hamilton said. "I doubt very much that you can find a place in all of America where you can find a better collection of foreign policy experience.
"If any of you are considering running for president -- any volunteers? -- may I suggest that you could form your own foreign policy team without stepping outside this room."
In their opening remarks, Lugar and Hamilton offered context on national and global issues based on decades of experience in government and public service.
Lugar discussed the impact of climate change and the importance of globalization. He said he was encouraged to read in the Indiana Daily Student that about 3,000 IU students are heading abroad this year; "despite all the troubles … America's role in the world is going to be determined fortunately by many people who are studying here now."
But just as important, Lugar said, are the many international students coming to study at IU and other major universities across this country.